Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  August 3, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

3:00 pm
[captioning made possible by democracy now!] ♪ >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> i don't think it is a big problem. >> a million people were killed.
3:01 pm
>> politics. amy: "the look of silence." three years after releasing "the act of killing," oscar-nominated filmmaker joshua oppenheimer returns with a new film about the u.s.-backed genocide in indonesia, this time, looking at the victims. joshua: i returned to make the film i set out to make at the beginning, what is it like for the survivors to have to live in the midst of the still powerful regime? amy: we will speak with joshua oppenheimer and the role of the united states in the indonesian genocide. joshua: they provided aid weapons, money to carry out the genocide. they him may have been involved in masterminding it.
3:02 pm
amy: all that and more coming up. ♪ amy: welcome to democracy now!, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president obama is unveiling a new set of power regulations highlighted as the strongest actions taken in the united states to combat climate change. it could shatter coal fire power plants and fuel a shift toward wind and solar power. the final rules are reportedly stronger than earlier proposals requiring existing power plants to cut emissions. the plan faces opposition from republican lawmakers and coal companies who have vowed to sue. tomorrow, we will speak with naomi klein.
3:03 pm
the release of the roles coincide with a reminder of global warming's impact in california, where wildfires are raging. a firefighter has been killed. the spokesperson for the california department of forestry said the largest of the blazes consumed an unprecedented 20,000 acres over a five-hour period. >> that fire grew 20,000 acres in a five-hour period. that is an unbelievable amount of acreage to burn in such a small amount of time, but it is because of these drought conditions. amy: president obama has authorized u.s. airstrikes to defend u.s. trained syrian rebels who come under attack. fewer than 60 rebels have completed the training. the first known u.s. airstrikes to defend them were launched last week.
3:04 pm
an anonymous official said the u.s. would provide offensive strikes to support advances against isil. a syrian government war plane has crashed amidst air raids killing at least 12 people and injuring dozens. the decision comes as the u.s. and turkey discuss plans to clear isil from a zone along the turkish-syrian border. two policemen have died and dozens were wounded in a suicide attack on sunday. the army accused of the pkk of also killing a soldier on patrol in turkey in a separate attack. turkey has launched a wave of air tykes -- airstrikes against pkk. french riot police sprayed hundreds of migrants with tear gas as they attempted to enter the channel tunnel to cross into
3:05 pm
britain on sunday night. 1800 migrants were rescued by the italian coast guard. five were found dead of board. hundreds of thousands of migrants have arrived in europe this year from africa, syria afghanistan, and iraq. in mexico city, hundreds marched to denoue murder of a photojournalist ruben espinoza. he was killed by gunmen along with four others apartment in mexico city. he had been working in the southern state of veracruz. according to human rights groups, his murder signals a new level of violence against a mexican journalists. in his final interview, he told an outlet about his exile.
3:06 pm
>> i had to leave due to intimidation. not because of a direct threat, but out of common sense. there had just been an attack on student. within the kind of threat or intimidation, we do not know what will happen. in veracruz, there is no rule of law. amy: he is at least the 12th journalist who worked in veracruz to be killed since 2011. in africa, one n. peacekeeper has died in the central african republic and an attack. the peacekeeping team was attacked by men wielding grenades and machine guns. the latest round of talks on the transpacific partnership have wrapped up with a final deal. the trade pact was being negotiated in secret involves 12
3:07 pm
pacific rim nations and 40% of the global economy. >> we come of the trade ministers -- we, the trade ministers announce that after more than a week of productive meetings we have made significant progress and will continue to work to resolve a limited number of remaining issues, paving the way for the conclusion of the transpacific partnership negotiations. amy: congress recently granted the president fast-track authority. in a statement, it is good news for people on the planet that no deal was done at the final do or die meeting given the threat to jobs, wages, safe food medicine, and more.
3:08 pm
the obama administration has resumed formal security talks with egypt for the first time in six years. in cairo, secretary of state john kerry urged his egyptian counterpart to show greater respect for human rights. the united states delivered eight f-16 warplanes to egypt last week. vice president joe biden is considering a run for president. he has begun reaching out to potential supporters. the news comes as the state department has released nearly 2000 rejected e-mails from democratic residential candidate hillary clinton, including documents related to the 2009 ouster of the honduran president . clinton disclosed that she made $10 million in speaking fees in
3:09 pm
2013. a new analysis shows fewer than 400 families are responsible for him was half the money raised so far in the 2016 presidential campaign. the report reveals the vast majority of the $388 million is being channeled to super packs which can accept unlimited donations. the concentration of doubters -- donors appear more concentrated among republican candidates and their super pacs. nearly 60 donations of $1 million or more accounted for a third of the total donations raised so far in the presidential race. the first republican presidential debate is on thursday in cleveland. as corporate campaign spending soars, the number of journalists a sect it -- accepted
3:10 pm
invitations to a republican event sponsored by billionaire brothers charles and david koch at a luxury resort in california. the koch brothers have vowed to spend $889 million on the 2016 election cycle. protesters shot to said light on the secretive event by photographing the donors as they walked in. in puerto rico, the government failed to pay a $58 million debt payment on saturday. lawmakers are pushing for legislation that would allow puerto rico to declare bankruptcy. hedge funds are lobbying against the legislation. saturdays missed payment will push the commonwealth into fishel default by the end of the day on monday. in germany more than 1000
3:11 pm
people demonstrated in berlin in solidarity with two journalists who may be facing a treason investigation. the federal prosecutors said it was opening the treason investigation after the publication of two articles. one of the journalists spoke out on saturday. >> the accusation is particularly absurd because it is a matter of sect service spying. without whistleblowers like edward snowden, we would have no idea what the secret service is doing. whistleblowers need our support. we need a whistleblower protection law instead of criminal prosecution. amy: germany process -- germany's prosecutor general is awaiting the results of an internal investigation. if charges are filed, it will be the first time journalists have
3:12 pm
faced treason charges in germany and more than 50 years. a move comes after jewish settlers firebombed a palestinian home in the west bank killing an 18-month-old baby. the palestinian president called that a war crime and vowed it to bring it to the international criminal court. an israeli soldier fatally shot a palestinian teenager in the gaza strip for allegedly throwing stones near the border fence. filmmakers and environmentalists protected -- projected images onto the empire state building of endangered species. they said climate change is threatening species around the world. >> this is the biggest issue mankind has ever faced.
3:13 pm
my friends in paleontology say world war ii will be a footnote compared to this. this event tonight will hopefully celebrate these animals and give them a chance. cecil the lion, there are a lot more lions left. we are losing salamanders and turtles that could be gone in the next two decades. amy: the naacp has launched a 40 day march through the south to highlight racial injustice and police killings. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we spend the hour today with the award-winning filmmaker joshua oppenheimer. in 20 12, his debut feature film "the act of killing" stunned
3:14 pm
audiences by unmasking the perpetrators of the mid-1960's genocide in indonesia. that military was backed by the united states and led by the general who would rule indonesia for decades. joshua oppenheimer spent more than eight years interviewing the indonesian death squad leaders and works with them to reenact the killings. the film went on to be nominated for an academy award for best documentary. in his new film "the look of silence," he revisits the scenes of the crimes while focusing on the victims of the genocides. one family attempts to confront the murderers, many of whom are still in power. this is the trailer for "the look of silence." ♪ >> i don't think it is a big problem. >> that a million people were killed. >> that is politics. ♪
3:15 pm
>> how do you feel living surrounded by your son's killers? ♪ >> in our village, the mayor, the teachers, they were all killers. ♪ >> are your neighbors afraid of you? >> they are scared of me. they know they are powerless against me. >> my story is my brother was killed, too. >> where did your brother live? >> i'm sorry, i won't tell you. >> just tell me, it is ok.
3:16 pm
♪ >> if you keep making an issue of the past, it will definitely happen again. ♪ >> if i came to you like this during the military dictatorship , what would you have done to me? >> you can't imagine what would have happened. ♪ amy: that is the trailer for "the look of silence." the oscar-nominated director joshua oppenheimer was in new york for the release of the movie. he came by the studio on the day the movie was released.
3:17 pm
i started by asking him about the title of the film. joshua: "the look of silence" really defines a project which was to show this invisible thing, silence, silence born of fear, what does it look like? what is it like for human beings to live 50 years afraid? trying to give silence to that fear is what defined the project. i have the title long before i had the title "the act of killing." there was this other layer of it follows one survivor of the killings as he goes and visits the men who killed his brother and tries to get them to take responsibility for what they have done. he is an optometrist. so we merges this metaphor for blindness. men are willfully blind to the meaning of what they have done.
3:18 pm
amy: let's step back and give us the political context to the story. talk about indonesia. joshua: in 1965, there was a military coup sponsored and supported by the west. the united states, the united kingdom, australia japan. the united states took a key role. the charismatic first president of indonesia and the founder of the nonaligned movement that was trying to carve an independent path, he is the president who led indonesia out from dutch colonialism. he was overthrown in the military coup. within six months, somewhere between half a million and 3 million people were killed. every opponent or potential
3:19 pm
opponent of the new dictatorship , trade union leaders intellectuals, teachers, the yes and the chinese, members of the farmers cooperative the indonesian women's movement were rounded up, put in concentration camp's, and a great many of them were killed. amy: talk about your first film what you covered there, and what you are covering with this one. joshua: in 2003, i began my work on the 1965 genocide and its present-day legacy. the current regime of fear and thuggery and corruption. i began that work in collaboration with the family at the center of "the look of silence." they gathered survivors to tell me their stories. some of them have never talked before about what they have been through. when they came to tell me the stories, they would arrive crying.
3:20 pm
just at the thought of what they would be sharing. after three weeks, the army came and threatened all of the survivors not to participate in the film. he responded by calling me to a midnight meeting at his parents house and said, please don't give up, try to find the perpetrators. i was afraid to approach the perpetrators, but i found they were open and immediately boastful about the worst details of what they had done. when i showed this back to him he continued to -- he said continue to film the perpetrators. film them and expose the terrible things that the genocide has not even ended because the perpetrators are still in power and millions of lives are still being destroyed by fear and silence. i spent seven years working with the perpetrators. what begins with them taking me
3:21 pm
to the places where they killed and launching into spontaneous demonstrations gradually evolve into something much more surreal and a much faster project. to try and understand why they are boasting, why they are open how they want to be seen, how they really see themselves -- i asked them to dramatize what they had done in whatever way they wished in order to show the fantasies, the stories that the perpetrators tell themselves so that they can live with themselves. amy: joshua oppenheimer talking about his new film "the look of silence." we will be back in a minute. [♪] [music break]
3:22 pm
amy: this is democracy now!, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we continue our conversation
3:23 pm
withward-winning filmmaker joshua oppenheimer. director of the new film "the look of silence." i asked him about his first feature film "the act of killing ." joshua: "the act of killing" follows one squad leader who killed 1000 people, perhaps, as he sets about dramatizing his memories, his experiences of genocide, as a way of somehow desperately trying to cling to the lies that this whole regime has told and imposed on the whole society. as he goes through that process, he comes to see that these are lies and he has a wrenching confrontation with his own conscience. for indonesia, the national lies
3:24 pm
collapse. amy: let's go to a trailer from "the act of killing." >> cuts, cut cut. you acted so well, but you can stop crying now. ♪ action! >> war crimes are defined by the winners. i'm a winner. ♪ >> have mercy on me. >> honestly, i never expected it to look this brutal. >> i can't do that again.
3:25 pm
>> i did this to so many people. >> have i sinned? amy: that is the oscar-nominated film "the act of killing." joshua, the danger in doing what you have done. yes, the perpetrators spoke to you the victims spoke to you, talk about the chronology. you made "the act of killing." all of these killers participated and were proud of what they did. joshua: then i returned to make the film that i set out to make at the beginning thematically, the film that explores, what is it like for the survivors to have to live in the midst of the still powerful killers in fear? when i returned, i had no idea that i would be filming a
3:26 pm
survivor as he goes and confronts the man who killed his brother. he said, joshua, i spent seven years of you watching the perpetrators and it has changed me. i said, absolutely not it is too dangerous. there has never been a film where survivors confront perpetrators who are still in power. we cannot do it. he explained to me that he was hoping to visit -- that he can visit the perpetrators and if they could take responsibility for what they have done, he would somehow be able to reconcile himself with his neighbors, that the men who killed his brother and who had been terrorizing his family for half a century would welcome his arrival as a chance to make peace with their neighbors and to find forgiveness from one of their victims families. i was doubtful that that would happen. i realized if we could show why we failed or what a thought would happen that they would be
3:27 pm
defensive, angry, and fearful, and threaten us, that we would be able to show how torn the society is, how urgently truth, reconciliation, and justice are needed. we realize that because i had made "the act of killing," but because it had not yet screened, because i was believed to be close to some of the most powerful men in the country, the vice president of the country, national leaders of the paramilitary movement, ministers in the cabinet, people thought because they had not seen the movie yet that these were my friends. we realized that because of that the men who are regionally powerful would be unlikely to detain us, let alone physically
3:28 pm
attack us, and that this is what would allow us to do this unprecedented thing of confronting the perpetrators. amy: you made the film after "the act of killing," but before it was shown around the country. joshua: we had this window after finishing editing it, we knew we would not be able to return safely after the film came out, so we had to shoot the second film in the interim. amy: tell us to adi is and who his brother is. joshua: his brother was the village head of the farmers cooperative. just for that, he was seen as a likely opponent in the dictatorship and he was killed. he lived in a small village in north sumatra and a vast area of oil, palm, and rubber plantations. what was unique about his story was not so much his position
3:29 pm
but the fact that his was one of the only murders that had witnesses. tens of thousands of other people have been taken to rivers, killed and their bodies allowed to drift out to sea and their families were never told what happened. they were then unable to grieve to mourn, they could not even say that their loved ones had died, they just had not come home yet. which meant that they lived in this prison of cognitive dissonance, where they knew that the person must be dead, but they could not say it. a small part of that grieve, they could articulated by talking about his brother. over the decade until i arrived in 2003, over the decades, he became a synonym for the genocide as a whole. when i started this work, i was introduced to his family. his mother and father wanted me
3:30 pm
to meet his brother. his mother said, i was going crazy after he was murdered but because i had his brother, i was able to live. she called into the village. i met a young man who had not experienced the killings firsthand. all he knew was the government propaganda. he knew the story of romilly's murder. she could not stop telling the story. it was like in a code that would never fade. he wanted to understand what happened to his mother, to his father, to his village. amy: introduce this first clip. joshua: in this first scene, we see him asking his mother what
3:31 pm
it is like to be surrounded by the men who killed her son and what it is like to live in a space of silence and fear, haunted by the ghosts of the unburied dead. >> they stole from their victims. now, they are rich. they killed the husbands and took the wives. >> how do you feel living surrounded by your son's killers? >> we see them every day. >> it is horrible.
3:32 pm
when we meet in the village, we don't speak. i hate them. amy: that is a clip of "the look of silence." erected by joshua oppenheimer -- directed by joshua oppenheimer. that is adi's mother. what happened to her older son? joshua: he was taken from the holding prison, where he was guarded by his own uncle, his mother's brother, something the family did not know until we were actually there. he tested his eyes as a favor. yesterday his uncle remembered and his uncle volunteered it. he was dispatched from the prison to be taken to north
3:33 pm
sumatra and killed at a spot were 10,500 people were killed. on the way, the truck had to pass a turnoff to his family's home. he panics. he realized what was happening. there was a commotion on the truck. because of that, two people escaped and survived. everybody else was killed right there. romly was injured and managed to crawl home through rice fields about a mile to his parents home, where his mother took him in and try to keep him alive. two hours later, the death squad came to pick him up. they were threatening to kill the whole family if his mother did not turn him over. to sort of make it easier for her, but in a terrible way.
3:34 pm
the death squad leaders said they were taking them to the hospital. she knew it was a lie, but to do what she had to do in that moment, she somehow had to believe it was true in that moment. it made her, in her own mind, a collaborator in that moment. that story has never faded. it is like a mantra. not like a mantra, like something, this horrible thing that she cannot let go of. amy: what did they do to him? joshua: they brought him to a nearby river, day was breaking, the official site for killing had closed. they took him to a nearby stream, they hacked him up, they left him for dead, he was not dead. a crowd gathered. they fished him back to the river, they took him into the palm plantation and killed him. his father's coworkers saw the body the next day and informed
3:35 pm
the family where the body was and now there is a small grave. amy: his father is also a key figure in your film, though he is not really speaking. joshua: it was part of how adi persuaded me that we are to confront the perpetrators. when i said it was not possible he showed me a scene that he shot with a small camera i had given him to use to look for images that might inspire the making of this film a couple years earlier. he showed me this scene where his father is lost in his own home. it is the only scene in the film that adi shot. he is crawling through his own home, calling for help. adi told me that his father had
3:36 pm
forgotten the son whose murder destroyed his life and his family's life, but he had not gotten the fear. he could not remember what happened. he will never be able to work through it, he will never be able to move beyond it. he is like a man law in a room who cannot find the door, let alone the key. he said, if i could only meet the perpetrators if they can accept what they have done is wrong, then my children will not have to grow up afraid of their neighbors. i understood then that the perpetrators will not apologize. in "the act of killing," i worked with the perpetrators for five years, but they still, the version that came out around the world, while he is retching, he
3:37 pm
is still saying, my conscience told me they had to be killed he is still lying to himself. i had this feeling that after five years that anwar cannot admit that he did was wrong somehow these men will not get there in an hour and a half. i realized that we would knock get the apology, but if i could show the complex human reactions that are inevitable when you go into someone's home and say, you have killed my brother, can you take responsibility, the shame, the guilt, the fear of their own guilt, and then the defensiveness, the anger, the threats -- if i could show that i could show the previously invisible abyss dividing every indonesian from each other. i also relies that this must be more than a film about impunity
3:38 pm
of survivors living side-by-side, it was also be a poll him about memory -- poe one composed in memorial to all that is destroyed. not just about the dead that can be wakened, but the lives that have been destroyed by 50 years of fear and violence. amy: let's go to the second clips that we have in "the look of silence." adi is going to the men who killed his brother. joshua: here we meet him confronting the commander of the death squads that were operating along the river. a man who told me that he deserves a cruise to america because it was america who taught him to hate and kill. adi visits him and asks him to take responsibility for what he has done. >> you are the leader in this region.
3:39 pm
so you are responsible for the mass killings. do people around here know that? >> yes, they do. >> the thing is i, my older brother, he was killed. because you commanded the killing. >> it wasn't really me. >> you were responsible as leader. >> there were many groups. >> but you were the top leader. >> they were united with the
3:40 pm
army. we had commanders above us. we were protected by the government. so you can't say that i'm responsible. >> every killer i met, none of them feel responsible. amy: that is a clip of "the look of silence." explain exactly who this man is. joshua: this man was the head of the civilian death squad that was killing on the snake river. he is from the same paramilitary group that is at the center of i first film, "the act of killing ." he would sign off the list of people every night the people who had to be killed.
3:41 pm
10,500 people were killed in this one spot. he signed off about 600 people. that is only because it was not normally his job to do that. there were many more killed there. after adi tells him, you saw a glimpse of this in the trailer after he says, you are not taking responsibility, he becomes very angry and starts asking, where do you live? adi won't tell him. he said, what would you have done if i came to you during the dictatorship? he said, you can't imagine it. the real danger is not known communist who have been terrorized for decades, the real danger are the secret communists and perhaps this film is a secret communist activity. he says, continue with your secret communist activities. go on. amy: this is actually adi's
3:42 pm
neighbor. joshua: their houses are within minutes of each other. amy: oscar-nominated filmmaker joshua oppenheimer, director of the new film "the look of silence." which has opened around the country. it is being called a masterpiece. this is democracy now! we will be back in a moment. [♪] [music break]
3:43 pm
amy: democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we continue my conversation with joshua oppenheimer. i asked him to talk about the dangers of making his new film "the look of silence." in both "the look of silence," which is about the victims of the u.s. backed indonesian genocide, as well as the film "the act of killing," about the perpetrators, the credits are listed as anonymous. joshua: throughout the shooting
3:44 pm
and editing of the film and the release of the films, we were prepared to stop after every scene. adi in preparation for the scenes with the highest ranking commanders, we would have a second car available to use as a getaway vehicle should we have to flee. his family would be at the airport ready to evacuate if there was any kind of threat that would persist after we left. about six months before the film had its first screening at the venice film festival, we met with adi, his family, the whole team that released "the act of killing," in thailand because i could already no longer safely returned to indonesia to discuss whether we should not bring the film out at all until the perpetrators have died or there is real change in indonesia or whether we should bring the film out, but his family should move to europe for a while. in the end adi's family saw the
3:45 pm
film because the film must come out because there were such momentum because of "the act of killing" for change. the government had already said we know what happened in 1965 with a crime against humanity and we need reconciliation area did we don't need a film to push us into this. it was a wonderful moment. the media and the public were now talking openly about the genocide as a genocide. amy: "the act of killing" you had these underground showings in indonesia. joshua: it began in secret, but once the media embraced the film, the screenings became public. there had been thousands of public showings. we made the film available for free for all and tunisians online. amy: the government actually had showings? joshua: not of "the act of killing."
3:46 pm
amy: no, "the look of silence." joshua: it was distributed by two government bodies. something unimaginable were not for "the act of killing." the first screening for jakarta was held in the largest screening in indonesia. they were billboards announcing that the screening. 3000 people showed up. they put on two screenings. adi came for both and received a 15 minute standing ovation. there were 500 public screenings. over the coming weeks, we reached 3500 screenings. the film has prompted a national conversation about how urgently truth and reckons the liège and and some form of justice are needed. the government has introduced a woefully inadequate reconciliation bill, but it is a mild to try to improve --
3:47 pm
milestone to try to improve. because of all this momentum adi's family the team in indonesia said if we can assemble a team and the resources to relocate family to another part of indonesia, that should be possible. we think the new climate will be protective. adi will be seen by many as a national hero after the film. the first screening was on national euros day and trending on twitter in indonesia, they are the largest twitter using country in the world, trending around the world was today we have a new national hero and his name is adi. all of this meant that he and his family were able to move it a few thousand kilometers from where they were from to another part of the country surrounded by a more supportive community
3:48 pm
of human rights lawyers, critical journalists, progressive politicians, all of whom are closely monitoring whatever threats there may be. amy: but they are not living where he grew up. joshua: they are not. for a man who is only trying to have forgiveness with his neighbors, it is a sign of the extent to which indonesia is not a democracy. a democracy requires rule of law. the most powerful in indonesia are not subject to this name laws as the weakest. if there is no rule of law, it is not a democracy. we have the same problem in the united states. maybe to a lesser extent. because of this lack of rule of law, you have a shadow state built around the military. the military is immune to
3:49 pm
civilian law. if a military commander were to order the massacre of a village he could not be put on trial. the military would have to tribunal which means the military is beyond the law. amy: which brings me back to the perpetrator, the one thata adi confronts, saying, i'm a product of the united states. talk more about the history of indonesia back to the 1960's, what the u.s. role was. joshua: the united states provided aid, weapons, money so that they could carry out this genocide. they may have been involved with masterminding or conspiring to create the events that were used as a trigger or excuse for the genocide, which was the murder
3:50 pm
of six army generals by other members of the armed forces. all of this cia job documents remain classified. senator tom udall introduced a senate resolution on the day of the film's release in indonesia saying it is time for the united states to take responsibility for its role in these crimes and declassify the records. what we already know is damning enough. we know that embassy officials were compiling list of thousands of names of figures in indonesia. u.s. embassy officials were handing these to the army and saying, kill everybody on these lists and check out the names as you go. i spoke to one of these men early in my journey here and he
3:51 pm
talked about how this was crucial intelligence he was given. the united states at already funded and trained the indonesian army and defies the indonesian army to be deployed into every village in the country. they were deployed for internal repression and mass murder. if you are like an octopus with your tentacles reaching into every village, of course you know who a local public figure is a journalist, and intellectual, a trade union leader who might be opposed to the military government. this was not intelligence, this was incitement area did this was the united states saying, kill everybody, kill every possible opponent. the u.s. provided radios to coordinate the killings. in "the look of silence," we see
3:52 pm
an nbc news report that celebrates the genocide more or less right after it. we see a major multinational corporation where they are harvesting the latex for our tires and our condoms, that good gear -- goodyear is using slave labor to harvest rubber. it is being broadcast on american tv and celebrated as a victory for american democracy. it should give every viewer pause, leading every viewer to discuss whether the real reason for u.s. participation was the so-called struggle of the free world versus the communist world or whether that was a pretext or an excuse for murderous corporate profit.
3:53 pm
amy: this was all about the rise of the u.s. backed dictator. joshua: that's right. he remained in power for 35 years. while in power, the u.s. continue to aid that government. a third of the population of east timor was killed. that aid started flowing while the rivers were still choked with bodies. amy: i want to end with two points. one is what happens with the crew who made the film, but first a very touching scene where adi is talking to his son and what his children are learning today. joshua: still, in indonesia, the
3:54 pm
government teaches the students, teaches children that the genocide was heroic, a heroic extermination of the indonesian left and that the victims were monstrous and deserved what they got and the perpetrators were heroes. you see adi's young son hearing this and because the relatives of victims should not be allowed decent employment, they should not be allowed to join the police or get a job in the government or that they have to be monitored closely because their grandparents were terrible people and we see this stigma being passed on from generation to generation. we see the seeds being sown for the recurrence of the genocide.
3:55 pm
they say let the past be passed as a threat. it is a gaping wound. what is keeping it alive is the teaching of propaganda in the schools. adi responded to the unbearable sense that his children were being stigmatized for their own family's depression. it is something we know all too well in this country with their unresolved history, the unresolved wounds of race and the native american genocide. this should not be seen that is something that is unfamiliar to us. this is also a part of our history. if america is an empire, what goes on in the far corners of america has everything to do with their life at home. in the consumer economy we are told we should be enjoying it
3:56 pm
home. this is about all of us, too. amy: and the credits, the people who worked with you who cannot still be named even when this film is being supported by the indonesian government and its distribution around the archipelago. joshua: even if parts of the government are supporting the film, that does not mean that it is safer or my team. it has taken a team of 25 people to ensure that they are safe, but there is still a plan b for them to evacuate. the same risks are there for my crew. my crew on both films remains completely anonymous. the credit role is to see that everybody who made the film who is indonesian is anonymous. these are people who gave 10 years of their lives, some of them, changing their careers
3:57 pm
university professors, heads of ngos, they stopped what they were doing thinking they were on a six-month sabbatical. the project would go on, get deeper and deeper and they would continue to work on it, risking their safety, knowing they could not take credit for their work until there is real political change. because they felt it was that important. there is nothing i would rather do than to be able to cut the credits girls off each film and put on new credits with everybody's name. amy: the new president, has he seen this film? joshua: there are rumors of a presidential apology to the victims and the families of the victims in the next date of the union address which is in
3:58 pm
august, but there is already a backlash. we have paramilitary groups calling him a communist and a traitor, talking about impeachment seatings. we don't know whether he has seen the film. he received a copy of the film from a relative of his and his mother's living room. we have a photograph of him holding the film in his living room. amy: how many people were killed in indonesia by the indonesian military and paramilitary? joshua: almost certainly one million, up to 3 million. amy: oscar-nominated filmmaker joshua oppenheimer, director of "the look of silence." october 1 marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the genocide in indonesia. petitions are being circulated for the records to be declassified about the killings in indonesia and acknowledge the u.s. role.
3:59 pm
that does it for our broadcast. democracy now! i'm amy goodman. thanks much for joining us. ♪
4:00 pm


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on